The exact strain has not been confirmed, but DEFRA said the outbreak posed very low risk to human health and no risk to the food chain.
“Immediate action has been taken to control the outbreak including introducing a 10 km restriction zone and a complete cull of all 6,000 birds on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection,” the agency said in a statement. “The case confirmed on Sunday afternoon has been identified as a H5 avian flu strain and tests are being run to identify the exact strain of the disease. Public Health England have confirmed the risk to public health is extremely low and we have ruled out the H5N1 strain that is infectious for humans.”
DEFRA added that investigations are ongoing to discover whether the outbreak is linked to cases in Netherlands and Germany. News reports state that Dutch authorities have confirmed the bird flu detected at a poultry farm in central Netherlands is H5N8, a highly contagious strain. The most recent outbreak of H5N8 bird flu is the second time the pathogenic strain has been detected in Europe. More than 30,000 turkeys were culled in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in early November.